Shame – Songs of Praise album review

Coming into 2018 as one of British Indie music’s hottest prospects, Shame are destined to reach the dizzy, gritty and scuzzy heights their South London based mates Fat White Family have of recent years. Shame’s raw ethic harks to everything from new wave grunge acts like Drenge and Girl Band, to even some classic early 90s Manchester scene bands like Happy Mondays.

Charismatic, politically driven and spoken frontman Charlie Steen has one of the most beautifully abrasive voices I have heard, its provocative tone could make anyone become as anti-establishment as themselves. Songs like ‘The Lick’ are best examples of this, complimented by the droney bass lines and melodic guitar swings that are becoming so intrinsic to the boy’s unique sound.

My favourite cut from the LP has to be ‘Tasteless’, it is a track that you simply cannot fault. It has everything from subtle guitar lead breaks to visceral drumming patterns and the cascading vocals of Steen.

Go grab yourself an album that could well end up being one of the best of the year. 2018 is looking like a lively one for Shame.

Rating: 9/10

 

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Brockhampton – Saturation 3 review

Completing the Saturation trilogy, Brockhampton today released their highly anticipated third studio album, which  is currently sitting fittingly in the top 10 album charts accompanied by big time rappers G-Eazy and Eminem. Sharing an egalitarian blueprint model similar to Odd Future’s, the DIY self-proclaimed ‘Boy Band’ cement the smooth, scintillating synths with the unorthodox flows we fell in love with on their first few LPs. Slick and Introspective, the band seem to have traded their bangers for slick and mellow thinkers, however a few tracks buck the trend and are absolute smashers.

It’s their most complete album, and the most consistent, whilst it lacks the raw appeal of SATURATION, and the expensive sounding production of SATURATION 2, it instead incorporates elements of UK Garage and other electronic sub-genres. The second track “ZIPPER” is extremely contagious, and will have you swaying in your seat, whilst tracks like “STUPID” are riddled with mental production choices.

It is, in a way, a coming of age story that almost sounds like a soundtrack to an indie film, as the main protagonists gradually find their way in life. “BLEACH” is another mellow track, that echoes with eerie backing vocals complimenting the song perfectly. The album borrows brilliantly from their peers, with soundscapes inspired by Tyler, The Creator and Steve Lacey adding to their signature, innovative Brockhampton vibrations.

Whether you are a critic of the Californian collective or not, you have to admire their ambition and the queer empire they have fabricated in only a matter of months. Aesthetically, Brockhampton have solidified their anti hyper-masculine image on this album, lyrics expressing their love for Harry Styles would seem ironic or maybe even crude by other indie artists but, on the track ‘JOHNNY’, you genuinely feel sorry for Kevin Abstract failing to get the One Direction stars phone number.

Van Ameer is by far the group’s most accomplished rapper, spitting truthfully about his tales of trauma and distaste for American racism. ‘Stains’ is definitely one of my favourite cuts from the album and a true portrayal of how Ameer does this so well. The different personalities of the rappers make for such elusive and intriguing contradictions of lyricism and hooks. Joba and Matt Champion have especially grown on this new record and should be credited for their more mature approach, but one that is far from sophisticated.

Brockhampton seem to be doing everything right at the moment – with an app and a film on the way, accompanied by a fully sold out American Tour. What they do need to do however is come to England, hopefully this will come off the back of the new record but for now go and check it out, embrace the hype.

RATING: 8.5/10

King Krule – The Ooz album review

Since releasing his debut album in 2013, King Krule has been dropping music under the alliances Archy Marshall, his full name, and Edgar the Beatmaker. However, now he is back with his second piece of work under the label that made him one of the independent music scenes most treasured individuals.

I didnt really know what to expect from Krules following LP; reaching the highs of 6 Feet Beneath the Moon was always going to be difficult, especially given his 4 year absence from the industry. I feel The Ooz proposes a more sophisticated and instrumentally varied track list in comparison to his last album, the Peckham born artist has taken the experimental jazz we loved on A Lizard State and combined it to the post punk of Easy Easy to create an enjoyably gritty soundscape

Personally I prefer the scattiness on tracks like Emergency Blimp to the smooth jazz on Cadet Limbo, but this shows the variation Marshall can bring to an LP. It seems effortless to him and, to be honest, there is no other artist I am more excited to hear from at the moment.

If you have been lucky enough to get King Krule tickets then I am very jealous of you, I lost my phone at Reading when they were released and of course they were all sold out when I got back. So fuck you but also have a good time, will probably be one of the best things you ever get to see, especially at the Koko, Christ almighty.

Rating: 8/10

Rejjie Snow’s ‘Virgo’ will brighten up your summer

At 24 years of age, Rejjie Snow’s music continues to surprise and push the boundaries of hip hop. It seems every track he releases blends sub genres, proceeding to leave a statement on his audience; ‘Virgo’ is no different. Opting for a tropical trap beat this time round, the Irish rapper creates a scummy but beautiful contrast between the visuals of the video and the colourful production; the dreariness of an estate is given a carnivalesque makeover through the cheery nature of the song.

I caught Rejjie Snow at Secret Garden Party this year and he was definitely one of the best acts across the week, gracing the main stage with new fire and old classics from Rejovich. As for this track though, it features ‘Pell’, who offers soothing vocals that neatly fit over the beats and helps to bring out Rejjie’s purposely goofy vocals.

Overall this is definitely a song that should be on your summer playlists, turned up to the max as you crack open a cold one with a bit of African heat smothered on your face. I’d still say I prefer the direction Snow was going with in ‘Crooked Cops’ and ‘Pink Beetle’, but we can only wait for the album now after these countless singles.

 

Mura Masa album review

After stunning us with his graceful, equatorial mixtape and EP, Alex Crossan is back, creating an album that sees him adapting to his rise of mainstream success; whilst holding true to the experimental collaborations we love him for.

Just looking at the feature list on this album is mouth watering. Damon Albarn,  A$AP Rocky, Bonzai, Desiigner – the list is endless. Many would say Crossan is a perfect example of how the internet age has effected the way music can be created, explored, listened to and loved, the 21 year old definitely stays true to this on the album. Living in Gurnsey, where It’s fair to say not a lot happens, Mura Masa started out in his bedroom and released music onto Soundcloud. A few years later he is one of the UK’s hottest producers and is playing big name festivals from Coachella to Reading and Leeds.

The album starts off with the most beautiful song on the record: ‘Messy Love’. I can never quite pin down what instruments make the blending soundscapes Crossan constructs but they just create the most blissful listening possible; this track is a prime example. Bangers like ‘Love$ick’ and ‘All around the world’ make the record varied in pace but it is such a consistently good album – it will be one for the summer for sure.

It is unlikely that Mura Masa’s rise is going to falter anytime soon. Although this album has been released, I feel it won’t be long before we hear even more hits and high profile collaborations from Crossan. Listen to this and keep your eyes peeled.

Rating: 8/10

Royal Blood are back with new track ‘Lights Out’

It is a fact that Royal Blood are one of the biggest rock bands in the world right now. With only 1 album under their belt, it should be a surprise to everyone just how successful the Brighton Outfit have been since they started out.

Supported by rock gods in the calibre of Dave Grohl, Joshue Homme and Slash, Ben and Michael have now released a new track in the lead up to their new album ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’. If ‘Lights Out’ is a sample of what is to come from the new album then we are in for more tantalising tremors of bass and divine drums; it still baffles me how only 2 people make the racket they do.

Give the new song a listen, it’s destined to be one of the rock anthems of 2017. Whether you like Royal Blood or not, they are impossible to hide from when new material is in the mist so you won’t hear the last of them for a while.

*!NEW FLUME!*

It is hard to believe that after a stunning second LP and equally as amazing EP, to coincide with the record, Flume wasn’t finished. But now the Australian producer has released something so extraordinary I can hardly type this review and contain my excitement. To companion his first companion EP, the Grammy and multiple Aria award winning electronic artist has dropped yet another 4 tracks that are heavier, spacier and as bass bulky as ever.

Starting off with an exasperating tune featuring the unsurprisingly impressive Pusha T, Flume combines his intricate nature enthused synths with the growling vocals of one of the worlds most respected rappers and makes a truly heart pounding, gritty explosion of textures. Listening to Flume makes you feel as if you are in a completely new universe, one so out of the ordinary that you hardly know what to do with yourself, both ‘Weekend’ and ‘Depth charge’ are no different. I feel as if some of the hooks hark back to his debut album, which is anything but a disappointment.

The artwork of the EP expresses what seems like a darker side to the music Flume was putting out in 2016, the majority of the tracks express this as well, especially the ending number featuring Dave from ‘Glass Animals’. As two of the most interesting artists currently out there, it was only a matter of time before they collaborated, it is truly unbelievable to think that these tracks were only really considered as B-Sides to the actual album but Flume treats us well, fulfilling our tropical electronic needs.

Go and check out what is one of the best musical projects to drop so far in 2017.

RATING: 9/10

VANT: Dumb Blood Album Review

VANT are one of the most politically driven indie rock bands to have risen from the recent surge in alternative music. Fronted by Matty Vant, the outfit have been releasing singles for a couple of years now, with a few making the cut for the final record. ‘Do You Know Me’ and ‘Parking Lot’ are two of my favourite tracks they have dropped and I feel they add an extra thump and dimension to their debut LP.

You can tell that this has been an album long in the running for the four piece and one they have put their heart and soul into recording. VANT are a band that simply care, whether this is about the broken political climate our world is in or the music they produce. Lyrically, the band are statement driven and seem to raise an issue in every number, ‘I don’t believe in God’ and ‘Peace and Love’ show this as much as any of their tunes.

The album kicks off with a minute long blend of ferocious guitar fuzz and amplified bass lines, showing their musical capacity as well as lyrical complexity. The opening track is called ‘The Answer’ and references the despair of UK-US involvement in the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars.

Ambitious, Important and truly raw, the tracks will go down a storm in their already raging live set, an album like this has been long in the waiting for their fans, but definitely worth it.

RATING: 7/10

Cherry Glazerr release new album ‘Apocalipstick’

Cherry Glazerr could be compared to any bands in the vein of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Cure or even the Kills. The Los Angeles indie outfit today dropped their second full length LP, following the impressive 2014 release ‘Haxel Princess’. With new members, but a similar teenage empowerment aesthetic, the band have taken the thrashing, fuzzy tracks off of their debut album, like ‘Whites Not My Colour This Evening’, and blended it into an unbelievable project.

Artists as famous and unique as Tyler, The Creator are worshiping the work of Clementine Creevy and her mates. She even featured on the final song of the rapper’s latest album ‘Cherry Bomb’, the track is called ‘Okaga CA’ if you want to check that out as well.

The likes of 6 music have been playing lead singles from the new album a lot recently, ‘Nurse Ratchet’ and the title track from the new LP are my personal picks and to me portray everything that is so brilliant about the rockers. Smashing guitar riffs, sumptuous vocals and drony bass lines run all throughout their stunning 2nd album. They are definitely ones to watch, and should be appreciated a lot more than they are at the moment.

Rating: 8/10

Loyle Carner releases debut album ‘Yesterday’s Gone’

Following several single releases and an EP titled ‘A Little Late’, Carner has finally dropped his first full length LP. Featuring hit songs like ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed’ and ‘No CD’, The album expresses a rich soundscape of amplified hip hop samples and prosperous instrumentation that combine to compliment the unbelievable lyricism the South London rapper offers.

The new material is up with the bangers Ben Coyle-Larner produces so often, my personal favourites are ‘Mrs C’ and ‘Damselfly’, which features fellow up and coming musician ‘Tom Misch’. The track’s powerful and honest lyrics portray Carner’s personal woes and vulnerabilities but in an intricate and fascinating way.

I have said this time and time again but Loyle Carner is the most important UK rap artist on the scene right now and this album will be one to only rise in popularity throughout 2017, his live sets are just as good as his music so if you have a spare £20 go and see him on his up coming tour.

 Rating: 8/10